William John (Jack) Hart MID

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William John (Jack) Hart MID
Hart William John.jpg
Hart William John 1.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 31 Oct 1923
Place of Birth Victoria Park, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 1 month
Description 5' 10" (1.78m) tall ; 133 lbs
60.328 kg
; fresh complexion ; green eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Telephone operator
Religion Church of England
Address Urch road, Roleystone
Next of Kin Father , Mr William Hart
Military Information
Reg Number 415653
Date of Enlistment 7 Dec 1941
Rank Warrant Officer
Unit/Formation No. 22 Squadron RAAF
Post War Details
Fate Wounded in Action 29 Mar 1945
Returned to Australia
Monument(s) Roleystone Roll of Honour
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Mentioned in Despatches

Pre War

Jack attended the Roleystone State School from October until December 1935, then the Junior Technical School in Peerth from January 1936 until December 1937, and the Perth Technical College from January 1938 until December 1938 when he completed his Junior Certificate. While Jack's enlistment papers mention him as a Telephone Operator at the Fremantle Post Office from 20 May until 4 Sep 1940, later documents describe him as an orchard worker having left the Post Masters Department to help on the orchard.

War Service

Jack enlisted in the RAAF as an Aircraftsman Grade 2 at No. 4 Recruit Depot RAAF on 7 Dec 1941 and was posted to No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF for basic training. On 28 Mar 1942 Jack was promoted to Leading Aircraftsman. On 28 May 1942 he was posted to No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF and he was remustered as 'Aircrew'. Having successfully completed early flight training he was posted to No. 4 Service Flying Training School RAAF on 21 Sep 1942 where he completed the course and was awarded his Pilot's Badge on 23 Dec 1942. On 21 Jan 1943 Jack was promoted to Sergeant (Pilot) and the next day was posted to No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF.

On 6 Feb 1943 Jack was transferred to No. 1 Air Observers School RAAF at Cootamundra, and while with them he was detached to the No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF from 10 Dec 1943 until 10 Apr 1944. In the meantime, on 21 Jul 1943 he had been promoted to Flight Sergeant. Returned to his parent unit, he was transferred to No. 5 Operational Training Unit RAAF on 28 May 1944. Jack was then promoted as a Warrant Officer (Pilot) on 21 Jul 1944 and undertook a conversion course on the Douglas Boston P-70 bomber.

Following the completion of this training, Jack spent two days with No. 1 Reserve Personnel Pool RAAF at Aitkenvale near Townsville enroute to No. 22 Squadron RAAF at Morotai where he was taken on strength on 19 Sep 1944. Late in 1944 the squadron was moved to Noemfloor in Dutch New Guinea after 13 of their aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Morotai. Jack's file at Australian Archives includes an assessment of his suitability, dated 17 Mar 1945, for promotion to Commissioned rank. At that time he had clocked up 952 hours of flying time, with 43 hours and 5 minutes described as Operational. Commissioned rank was deferred until he has further service experience. His final total flying time was 961 hrs 35 minutes, including 11 strikes and 1 other operational flight.

On 29 Mar 1945 Jack was wounded during air operations with a bullet wound to his right leg and left heel while ostraffing Liang Strip on Ambon Island. As a result, on 30 Apr 1945 Jack was posted to No. 3 Reserve Personnel Pool RAAF. A spell in No. 6 RAAF Hospital was completed on 14 Jun 1945 when he was sent to No. 5 Personnel Depot RAAF. He was discharged on 15 Jan 1946.

Award Comment

"On his twelth operation with No. 22 Squadron, Warrant Officer HART was leading a flight into Liang on a dawn straffing attack when his aircraft was damaged by anti-aircraft fire, and he was hit in both legs. While the Navigator steadied the aircraft, Warrant Officer HART appled emergency field dressings to his wounds and, despite intense pain and although weakened by loss of blood, he flew his aircraft for two and a half hours across 350 miles (585 km) of ocean to his base at Morotai. He then made a perfect landing despite the fact that he was unable to use his legs, and kept the aircraft straight by use of the throttle.""

Post War

Jack married Mavis Jean During 1953 Jack made an unsuccesful application for a Commissioned position as an Aircraft Controller with RAAF's Special Duties Branch. 113 Peet road, Roleystone


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